Oct. 1 Josh Harrison Pregame Interview

A Pregame Interview With:


Q.  Last season in the postseason, I think you made one at bat. Now you're integral to the team. Just your attitude going into this game as against how you were feeling last year at this time?

            JOSH HARRISON:  My attitude is the same.

            Last year I didn't get an at bat, pinched around a couple of times, But I was still ready to help the team in any way possible.

            I know my role this year is a little different. I'm still approaching it the same, trying to help any way I can, and continue to do what I did.

            Q.  Josh, as you look at your season, what's the biggest reason why, as you sit here today, you're such a big part of this team as an all-star and your role here? What's been the biggest difference in your career this season?

            JOSH HARRISON:  Definitely getting a chance to play on a consistent basis. I look back on the season, and there's nothing I've done different as far as my preparation or anything. Just a matter of being able to go out there every night and get four or five innings with at bats and play on a nightly basis.

            That's all anybody can ask for in this situation. You want a chance to help the team on a nightly basis.

            Q.  Josh, I know you're a team first guy, but given what's happened to you this year as far as the great success, have you had a moment, a personal moment to sort of look back on what's happened to you and where you're at now? Considering your fingerprints are all over this team having success, and if it weren't for your performance, they might not be in this situation.

            JOSH HARRISON:  I really haven't given myself a chance to sit back and reflect, still more work to do. I know I've had a good year. It's one of those things where I recognize it, but still at the same time, I'm not a guy that's in it for personal gain.

            We've got a big game tonight. I've been more focused on playing October baseball than really reflecting. At the end of the season is when I'll probably reflect. Hopefully, I'm reflecting with a World Series ring.

            Q.  Josh, for lack of a better way to describe it, you're an energy guy, and it seems like, when the crowd gets up, it seems to get you going a little bit more. You've been through this atmosphere last year. What do you expect it to be like tonight? Is there a point where you need to shut that off for a little bit to get focused on when the game starts?

            JOSH HARRISON:  I expect it to be similar to last year. I remember there was times last year -- even though I didn't play. I was in the dugout -- times I couldn't hit a ball off the bat. That's how loud they were, which is exciting.

            You know, a time for me to really realize that is when we're doing intros, they're going to be rowdy. But when the game starts, I'm going to be right where I need to be because, truth be told, when we played Milwaukee the last home stand, that almost had a playoff atmosphere. I felt how I usually do. I was in the moment, playing the game.

            But during the intros is probably going to be a little bone chilling. But when the game starts, we're professionals, and we've got a job to do.

            Q.  Josh, coming through the Pirates minor league system in Altoona, in Indianapolis last couple of years with the Pirates, you've been a part of the growth and success of the franchise. What have you carried from every level to this current point?

            JOSH HARRISON:  A winning mentality. That's what they want to preach here when I was first traded. There was no secret that the organization was rebuilding, and we had a core group of guys that I play with who are all on this team. Jordy Mercer, Justin Wilson, Tony Watson, Jeff Locke, just to name a few, where they preached about championships. It was a team building thing. Every level we've gone to has been about winning.

            That's what makes us so good as a team because up here you've got guys like Cutch and Russ who don't care who gets the credit, it's as a team. When you've got a team that could care less about the credit, they just want to win, that definitely makes it easier for everybody to play together.

            Q.  When September call-ups come in, it can sometimes be an overwhelming time, the clubhouse is full. When you saw John Holdzkom come in and throw the ball, when did you realize this isn't just a September call-up, now he's pitching the seventh and eighth inning for you guys?

            JOSH HARRISON:  First, when you guys walk in and see a guy that's 6'8" and you're like, man -- he wasn't at Spring Training or anything with us. You're like, man, who is this big dude? I had already got the rap from a couple of guys like Brent Morel, Tony Sanchez. They're like, hey, that's Big John. Wait until you see him.

            Surely, he stepped in, and after we seen him throw, we were definitely glad he was on our side.

            Q.  From a player's perspective, you played in hostile environments, and your team has performed well. Do you think there's a home field advantage here?

            JOSH HARRISON:  There's always a home field advantage. You know, it's home. That's why they make a big deal about it. You want to win at home. Everything's comfortable to you. You sleep in your own bed. You know the ins and outs of the parks. You know corners, fences, how everything's built. You know, you're used to it. You know how surfaces play.

            But at the end of the day, all of that is still -- you know, it's baseball. You've got to go out there and pitch. You've got to play the field. You've got to hit. Some of those things can be a little bit of an advantage in certain situations where a key situation, ball down the line, you know how a ball is going to play off the wall or this or that.

            It's the same objective every night. We go out there and worry about ourselves, and we'll be in good position.

            Q.  After 162 games, how much do you guys like that it comes down to one game or dislike that?

            JOSH HARRISON:  Honestly, anybody would love to win the division and stay away from this game, but somebody's got to do it. Regardless, it's still the playoffs. This is what you play for, October. No matter how you get in, you want to get in.

            We've got a team that's a confident group. We come into tonight, and regardless of what's happened in the past, we know tonight is a big game. We'll take a step back and focus on what we need to do and just worry about us.